‘Mission not completed’ – Garba Lawal charges Nigeria to focus on Argentina game

The West African country need a win or draw in their next game, dependent on the other group D fixture, to progress to the next round in Russia

Nigeria still need to fight against Argentina to complete their mission in the group stage after Iceland’s fall, according to ex-international Garba Lawal.

Following their 2-0 loss to Croatia on June 16, the Super Eagles bounced back to defeat Heimir Hallgrimsson’s side to record their first win at their 2018 Fifa World Cup.

Gernot Rohr tweaked his setup for the clash against the Vikings at the Volgograd Arena. Ahmed Musa, a notable change, scored a second-half brace to down the tournament debutant.

And the former Super Eagles winger who played at the 1998 and 2002 World Cup tournaments showered praise on the players for their performances and urged them to shift their focus to Jorge Sampaoli’s side in their final group fixture

"Kudos to our players, they did wonderfully well. The coach made some decisions yesterday which were fantastic for us," Lawal told Goal.

"Games have different approach and formation which depend on the type of team you are playing. I hope it works against Argentina. Mission one [against Iceland] is done. The second one is against Argentina.

"The group is still open and tricky, we still have all to play for against Argentina. We still need to fight the hard way because the mission is not completed yet.

"Croatia have qualified already and they might want to rest their key players in their last match.”

Naij PS

Friday’s triumph shot the three-time African champions to the second spot in the Group D standings with three points from two games while Croatia sit at the summit of the group with six points, and qualification to the knockout round.

The battle for the second-place goes to down to the wire between the Super Eagles, Iceland and Argentina, and the 44-year-old has advised Gernot Rohr’s men ahead of their game at the Saint Petersburg Stadium on Tuesday.

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"We need to play like we did against Iceland, though there were a lot of mistakes but we were just very lucky. We need to play more attacking football and create more threats against Argentina,” he continued.

"Iceland were not mature enough because they made many first-half chances which they did not convert, we would have been punished if we were playing a big team.

"In the second half, everything changed and we saw the hunger to win. The players' played well after the restart but in big games, there's nothing like second half, you must always play with strategies and it is always good if you can finish games in the first half. For instance, Brazil scored two classical goals in added time against Costa Rica, things like that qualifies them as a good team. That's the difference."